Getting a Permanent Visa in Australia as a Kiwi

Types of Visas

The type of permanent visa you get in Australia will depend on your circumstances once you have moved to Australia.  There are many types of permanent visas – too many to list.  Some types of permanent visas require sponsorship – that is, someone who is an Australian resident or citizen over 18 years of age that is willing to financially support your application for a set period of time.  Some types of permanent visas require certain skills or for you to be able to do certain kinds of jobs which the Australian government considers desirable.  Some types of permanent visas are “points tested”, which gives factors such as your age, language skills, qualifications and work experience points according to how desirable the Australian government thinks they are (for example, good English skills give more points than poor English skills).

Confusingly enough, being a permanent resident and being a “resident for tax purposes” are completely different things! Please see our section on Tax in Aus to learn about being a “resident for tax purposes”.

If you are looking at trying to obtain a permanent residence visa for Australia, we recommend you go to a registered migration agent, who will be able to assess your individual situation and which visa would best suit your needs.

There are many types of visas available in Australia and their requirements change quite frequently, a professional opinion will be able to assist you in finding the quickest path to permanent residency for you.  And, since permanent visa applications can be costly and take ages, a Registered Migration Agent can help you avoid having your application rejected.  Remember you do not get a refund if you complete the wrong visa application.

You will notice that your “permanent” residency visa has an expiry date. Surely you haven’t slogged through all those mountains of paperwork and visa fees for five years or less? No, you haven’t! After you have had a permanent residence visa and have been living happily in Australia for at least 2 out of the last 5 years, you will be eligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa.  This will allow you to travel in and out of Australia freely without having to re-apply for the visa that gave you your permanent residency in Australia. Once the RRV has been granted you can then sponsor your children.


This includes New Zealand Citizens who travelled to Australia for a holiday even as a child before 1 September 1994, then if you arrived back into Australia after 26 February 2001, then you can apply for a Resident Return Visa which expires after 5 Years and you can travel overseas….BIG BONUS….. after one year then you can apply for Australian Citizenship.